« Jobs for geniuses | Main | How do markets perform when threshhold incompetent traders are excluded? »

August 16, 2008



I'd be really pissed at #2. Mencius Moldbug proposes something like 5 here:

Hopefully Anonymous

TGGP, presumably you'd be able to test/apply out of it. If not, suck it up, fatty. I don't want to have to pay for your increased healthcare costs, and it may cause the rest of us stress to look at your deviantly fat ass waddling around.


Oddly enough, I'm one of the lucky few to stay quite skinny (a bit under 140 lbs, about 6 ft flat) with a horrible diet and no exercise. I have a number of relatives that were also like that when young, but became obese and diabetic when they were middle-aged. So it's possible I'll be imposing health-care costs on you later on. Of course, why not go further and simply stop paying the health-care costs of fatties, smokers and reckless drunks (a category I have briefly fallen in)?

With the opt-out option though it doesn't sound too bad. I just worry about any actual bureaucracy implementing it. I am somewhat sympathetic to the libertarian instinct against it here:
but it's a pretty damn weak objection. If the choice is between paying for fatties versus infringing on their freedom, I'm willing to swallow the latter. I was also able to break with libertarianism over immigration for similar reasons.

Hopefully Anonymous

TGGP, I like bureacracies on the IRS model (a line that may have never been written before) where there seems to be an almost deliberate attempt not to catch and punish almost all of the cheaters. Most dopes will follow the rules to our collective benefit, and there may be no better way to buy off the dissenting minority than to let them do their thing undisturbed.


You may be right about the deliberative attempt not to obey the rules. It reminds me of what the Wobblies say about "good work strikes" and "work to rule" in "how to fire your boss".

retired urologist

Hey HA,

[I like bureacracies on the IRS model (a line that may have never been written before) where there seems to be an almost deliberate attempt not to catch and punish almost all of the cheaters.]

A few years back, when I was still gainfully employed, Congress and the Medicare agency came up with what I thought was a rather unique way to conserve the energy and other resources needed to track down Medicare fraud. Their concept: pre-punishment. Some congressional bozo explained that he expected doctors to up-code their submissions to Medicare for larger reimbursements, so they had a formula to automatically down-code submissions when more than a magic number of intensive-service claims were made. For instance, in my practice, I did a lot of penile implants for patients on Medicare. They came in as new patients, had the treatment, got well, and were dismissed. Consequently, ahuge percentage of my office claims were "New Patient", one of the highest codes. They down-coded all but 5 each month, because it was obvious to them that I was committing fraud. Actually, they felt the down-coding was doing me a service, since it was in lieu of sending me to prison.


I think childhood might be an issue. If not enough freedom is given in childhood, a lot of potential creativity might be lost, like its happening in India.


Lucian, do you have any evidence for that belief? As an adherent of the Pinker-Harris camp, I don't place much stock in the idea.

The comments to this entry are closed.